Elephants

Sabi Sabi Ranger Story – Ultimate Walk

It was a sunny morning at Selati Camp when we started off on a walking safari. My guests, Ian and Heather MacPherson (father and daughter), as well as a honeymoon couple, Neil and Tracy Bantleman, who had been staying with us for 3 nights, were unaware of the extraordinary walk they wer about to experience.

They were all wildlife enthusiasts and loved their walking safaris, so I asked them whether or not they would be interested in doing a longer walk than usual. They were excited at the idea.

After having a wonderful breakfast in the comfort of the camp, we all set off with our backpacks, water and walking shoes. The sun was getting higher in the sky and the temperature was beginning to soar. This meant that the animals were most likely starting to take to shady spots to keep themselves cool. That would make also make it harder for us to find them.

Shortly after leaving the camp, I found up some fresh Giraffe spoor. The tracks were larger than normal, which suggested that they were from a big male. I estimated that he had walked there within the past hour. My guests were very keen to see the giraffe, so off we went to track him.

Sometimes people think that because Giraffes are so tall they are easy to spot, and it always amazes them just how camouflaged the tallest animal in the world can actually be. We followed the tracks through an Acacia thicket, and into and out of a small drainage line. As we came over a small hill, there, 50-60 meters away was the Giraffe we had been searching for. He was a nice big male, with a darker than normal coat. I tried using the cover of trees and bushes to get closer in order for my guests to get some good photographs, but with the Giraffes keen eyesight he spotted us creeping towards him. We still managed to get within a short distance of him, while he stared at us with a cautious eye. We got some great shots and Heather was amazed at just how tall the Giraffe really was. When you are sitting in a vehicle, it can give you a false sense of the size of animals, but by going on a walk, you become fully aware of just how big they really are. That’s one thing that makes a walking safari so worthwhile, as you are now on foot in the animals kingdom, walking on their terms.

During the walk Tracy started talking and asking about scorpions. I decided to head towards a rocky outcrop which is usually a good place to look for them. After scouting out a couple of rocks, I found the perfect one. Rock scorpions normally like to hide under rocks that are fairly large, ones that baboons will find difficult to lift as they search for their scorpion snacks. With a bit of effort we managed to lift the rock just far enough off the ground for me to be able to get a good look underneath. There lay a medium sized rock scorpion. I picked it up by the small tail and began to explain to my intrigued guests just how advanced a scorpion’s senses are. With tiny little hairs called trichobothria, they can detect a termite walking 40cm away, and they can feel the vibrations of thunderstorms still hundreds of kilometers away. Every animal big and small is just so interesting in its own way, which makes my job one of the best in the world. We managed to get some great photographs of our arachnid friend before placing him back underneath its rock home.

We carried on with our walk looking at all sorts of interesting trees, plants and tracks while I shared as much knowledge as I could. After some time we stopped under a big shady tree, where we drank water and took in the peace that the bush has to offer. We saw some fresh buffalo tracks and we could hear the lone bull disturbing all the dry, fallen leaves on the ground as he moved off in the far distance.

After rehydrating ourselves, we put our bags back onto our backs and began to make our way back to the camp which was still about an hour away. We were walking across a big open area, when Neil spotted a beautiful pinkish flower. It was an Impala lily, which even for a colour blind person like myself, is really just so beautiful. We moved closer to it to take some photographs. Ian hadn’t brought a camera, so he stood a few meters away from us, looking around with his binoculars

Sabi Sabi Ranger Story – Ultimate Walk

It was a sunny morning at Selati Camp when we started off on a walking safari. My guests, Ian and Heather MacPherson (father and daughter), as well as a honeymoon couple, Neil and Tracy Bantleman, who had been staying with us for 3 nights, were unaware of the extraordinary walk they wer about to experience.

They were all wildlife enthusiasts and loved their walking safaris, so I asked them whether or not they would be interested in doing a longer walk than usual. They were excited at the idea.

After having a wonderful breakfast in the comfort of the camp, we all set off with our backpacks, water and walking shoes. The sun was getting higher in the sky and the temperature was beginning to soar. This meant that the animals were most likely starting to take to shady spots to keep themselves cool. That would make also make it harder for us to find them.

Shortly after leaving the camp, I found up some fresh Giraffe spoor. The tracks were larger than normal, which suggested that they were from a big male. I estimated that he had walked there within the past hour. My guests were very keen to see the giraffe, so off we went to track him.

Sometimes people think that because Giraffes are so tall they are easy to spot, and it always amazes them just how camouflaged the tallest animal in the world can actually be. We followed the tracks through an Acacia thicket, and into and out of a small drainage line. As we came over a small hill, there, 50-60 meters away was the Giraffe we had been searching for. He was a nice big male, with a darker than normal coat. I tried using the cover of trees and bushes to get closer in order for my guests to get some good photographs, but with the Giraffes keen eyesight he spotted us creeping towards him. We still managed to get within a short distance of him, while he stared at us with a cautious eye. We got some great shots and Heather was amazed at just how tall the Giraffe really was. When you are sitting in a vehicle, it can give you a false sense of the size of animals, but by going on a walk, you become fully aware of just how big they really are. That’s one thing that makes a walking safari so worthwhile, as you are now on foot in the animals kingdom, walking on their terms.

During the walk Tracy started talking and asking about scorpions. I decided to head towards a rocky outcrop which is usually a good place to look for them. After scouting out a couple of rocks, I found the perfect one. Rock scorpions normally like to hide under rocks that are fairly large, ones that baboons will find difficult to lift as they search for their scorpion snacks. With a bit of effort we managed to lift the rock just far enough off the ground for me to be able to get a good look underneath. There lay a medium sized rock scorpion. I picked it up by the small tail and began to explain to my intrigued guests just how advanced a scorpion’s senses are. With tiny little hairs called trichobothria, they can detect a termite walking 40cm away, and they can feel the vibrations of thunderstorms still hundreds of kilometers away. Every animal big and small is just so interesting in its own way, which makes my job one of the best in the world. We managed to get some great photographs of our arachnid friend before placing him back underneath its rock home.

We carried on with our walk looking at all sorts of interesting trees, plants and tracks while I shared as much knowledge as I could. After some time we stopped under a big shady tree, where we drank water and took in the peace that the bush has to offer. We saw some fresh buffalo tracks and we could hear the lone bull disturbing all the dry, fallen leaves on the ground as he moved off in the far distance.

After rehydrating ourselves, we put our bags back onto our backs and began to make our way back to the camp which was still about an hour away. We were walking across a big open area, when Neil spotted a beautiful pinkish flower. It was an Impala lily, which even for a colour blind person like myself, is really just so beautiful. We moved closer to it to take some photographs. Ian hadn’t brought a camera, so he stood a few meters away from us, looking around with his binoculars

Close Encounters at Knysna Elephant Park

Believe it or not, elephants are surprisingly good flat-mates…and I love that I know this fact from first-hand experience!

Last night I stayed at Knysna Elephant Park and my room was literally next-door to the elephant’s cushy nightly accommodation.

Waking up and having my morning cuppa with the elephants before riding off into the breathtaking sunrise on the back of one of them, was simply amazing!

Definitely a highlight!

 

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

 

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Close Encounters at Knysna Elephant Park

Believe it or not, elephants are surprisingly good flat-mates…and I love that I know this fact from first-hand experience!

Last night I stayed at Knysna Elephant Park and my room was literally next-door to the elephant’s cushy nightly accommodation.

Waking up and having my morning cuppa with the elephants before riding off into the breathtaking sunrise on the back of one of them, was simply amazing!

Definitely a highlight!

 

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

 

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Volunteer Holiday in South Africa

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Are you passionate about animal welfare and want the opportunity to make a difference? Often taking the time every week to volunteer to help our community isn’t feasible. Life can become crowded with responsibilities and obligations and it’s all to easy to forget the importance of looking after our planet.

 

Take a holiday this year to South Africa that makes a real difference. By choosing a ‘volunteering’ holiday you’ll get to explore a new culture, enjoy new culinary delights and experience another world and put your hand to a worthwhile cause. It’s a real luxury to be able to visit a new country and be the difference.

Here are our top 3 South Africa volunteer projects. All this information can be found at http://www.aviva-sa.com

Great White Shark Conservation

South Africa has the largest concentration of Great White Sharks in the world. Get up close and personal with these beautiful creatures in an exciting project in a passionate team of marine experts. South Africa is the breeding area for the endangered Southern Right Whale, and home to the threatened colonies of endangered African Penguins, as well as resident populations of dolphins, seals and thousands of seabirds.

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Wild Coast Horses

This is an amazing opportunity for you to experience the wonderful world of horse rehabilitation on South Africa’s beautiful and rugged Wild Coast. As a volunteer you will work alongside the team and will be actively involved in the rehabilitation of abused horses. The centre runs on a well structured routine, so you could find yourself preparing feed, grooming, examining horses, helping with exercising and schooling of the horses, cleaning and replenishing water troughs and, of course, mucking out!

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Elephants & Safari

Spend time at one of South Africa’s top rated 4 Star game lodges and gain valuable experience working behind the scenes with elephants, horses and safaris. This stunning working holiday will give you access to a wide range of optional activities including the famous Cango Caves and Cango Wildlife Ranch, along with ostrich and wine farms in the Klein Karoo region, an adventure you will remember for all the right reasons!

Volunteer Holiday in South Africa

Photobucket

Are you passionate about animal welfare and want the opportunity to make a difference? Often taking the time every week to volunteer to help our community isn’t feasible. Life can become crowded with responsibilities and obligations and it’s all to easy to forget the importance of looking after our planet.

 

Take a holiday this year to South Africa that makes a real difference. By choosing a ‘volunteering’ holiday you’ll get to explore a new culture, enjoy new culinary delights and experience another world and put your hand to a worthwhile cause. It’s a real luxury to be able to visit a new country and be the difference.

Here are our top 3 South Africa volunteer projects. All this information can be found at http://www.aviva-sa.com

Great White Shark Conservation

South Africa has the largest concentration of Great White Sharks in the world. Get up close and personal with these beautiful creatures in an exciting project in a passionate team of marine experts. South Africa is the breeding area for the endangered Southern Right Whale, and home to the threatened colonies of endangered African Penguins, as well as resident populations of dolphins, seals and thousands of seabirds.

Photobucket

Wild Coast Horses

This is an amazing opportunity for you to experience the wonderful world of horse rehabilitation on South Africa’s beautiful and rugged Wild Coast. As a volunteer you will work alongside the team and will be actively involved in the rehabilitation of abused horses. The centre runs on a well structured routine, so you could find yourself preparing feed, grooming, examining horses, helping with exercising and schooling of the horses, cleaning and replenishing water troughs and, of course, mucking out!

Photobucket

Elephants & Safari

Spend time at one of South Africa’s top rated 4 Star game lodges and gain valuable experience working behind the scenes with elephants, horses and safaris. This stunning working holiday will give you access to a wide range of optional activities including the famous Cango Caves and Cango Wildlife Ranch, along with ostrich and wine farms in the Klein Karoo region, an adventure you will remember for all the right reasons!

Baby Elephant rescue

Female elephants resuce a baby elephant from drowning in a waterhole. For Africa tour details visit www.gardenroutetrail.co.za.